The largest fixed-seating venue on campus, Schofield Auditorium is the setting for major presentations such as the Artists Series, The Forum, musical events, orientation welcomes and lectures.
Schofield Auditorium is located on the first floor of Schofield Hall, the original Eau Claire State Normal School building that opened September 18, 1916. It was the only building constructed on the Eau Claire campus until 1951. Used for daily all-school assemblies, convocations, testing, instruction, lectures, performances and ceremonies, the auditorium was extensively remodeled in 1960 to serve a dual purpose as the primary performance facility of the burgeoning department of music.
Schofield Auditorium received its second extensive renovation in 2011, to incorporate new seating, sound improvements, theater lighting, central room control, a video wall projection system and other aesthetic and facility improvements.
The facility was called Old Main Auditorium until April 1960, when the building was named to honor Harvey A. Schofield, first president of Eau Claire State Normal School. Constructed over three years at a cost of $225,000, Schofield Hall was designed by Van Ryn and DeGelleke Architects of Milwaukee, and built by Hoeppner-Bartlett Company of Eau Claire. The building was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1983.
EXCERPT FROM THE DEDICATORY ADDRESS BY REGENT THEODORE KRONSHAGE, JR.
EAU CLAIRE STATE NORMAL SCHOOL AUDITORIUM • OCTOBER 19, 1916
Someone has called the American schoolhouse the fortress of American liberty. I should rather call it the citadel of American democracy. I should be recreant indeed to my deepest convictions if I did not say that the public school, of all American institutions, is the most potent factor, the most vital force in securing stability to the nation, happiness to our people and equality to man. There is nothing like it anywhere. The child and youth of the laborer, of the mechanic, of the merchant, of rich and poor, without distinction or exception based on birth or wealth, sit side by side, in the same seats, under the same teacher, reading the same books and learning the same lessons. Knowledge and equal rights is there for all. In other lands the butcher’s son lives and dies a butcher; the son of the peasant lives and dies a peasant; the son of the baron lives and dies a baron. … The public school is the one great force in American life which unifies and harmonizes all classes and conditions of society.